Labour’s ghost train will cost taxpayers over $100 million before construction even begins

NZTA have confirmed today at an annual review hearing the cost for the Auckland Light Rail project has already passed $50 million spent and that not one metre of track will be built before the next election, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“The Government spent $35 million on its failed twin-track process and has now allocated a further $66 million dollars to the Auckland Light Rail Establishment Unit.

“At Select Committee today NZTA confirmed $15 million of this has been spent, but that this is only for the indicative business case.

“The remainder will be spent on a detailed business case that will take another two to two and half years to complete.

“The upshot of all of this is that by the next election a whopping $100 million will be spent, six years will be wasted, and the Government won’t have a metre of track to show for it.

“Light Rail will be known more for government waste and press releases than any level of delivery.  Labour promised to have the light rail to Mt Roskill by 2021, but in four years in Government it has delivered 7.1 meters of press releases and not one metre of light rail.

“Labour’s failure to deliver on the Auckland Light Rail project is costing kiwi’s millions of dollars for nothing, Aucklanders are still stuck in traffic while the Government is pouring money down the drain.

“Light Rail was always a poorly thought out project announced at Jacinda Ardern’s first speech as Labour leader. It is staggering that $100 million will be spent trying to work out how to deliver Ardern’s promise.

“The cost of the Auckland Light Rail is eye watering with the Government’s preferred option to cost anywhere between $9 billion and $16 billion up from Phil Twyfords estimate of $4 billion back in 2019.

“With six years and over a $100m to be spent on the project just on the design stage, Kiwis have no reason to trust that those estimates will be accurate.

“Aucklanders want to get moving, they don’t support the project and the Government needs to give up on this vanity project”.